Academic Program Requirements

Public Health Major (B.A.)

Incoming students and change-of-majors, starting fall 2024, will have new curriculum requirements!

Students are now able to list more than one track in their degree audit and their transcript! For more information contact your advisor or Ms. Sanford.

Please refer to the “FAQs” tab for additional information.

Visit the Public Health home page for more details.


Core Curriculum (28 credits):

  • PBHL 100: Introduction to Public Health (SS GEP)
  • PBHL 200: Human Health and Disease
  • STAT 121 OR STAT 350 OR STAT 351 OR SOCY 301(Pre-Req SOCY 300, department consent, and STAT readiness test.)
  • PBHL 340: Health Communications (Pre-Req: Engl 100) OR ENGL 393 Technical Writing(WI)
  • PBHL 350: Public Health Ethics (Pre-Req: PBHL 100) OR MGMT 385 Business Ethics & Society
  • PBHL 300: Research Methods in Health (Pre-Req PBHL 100, 2.5 or higher GPA & completion of MATH GEP)
  • PBHL/SOCY 452: Health Care Organization & Delivery (Jr/Sr Year, Pre-Req: Prerequisite: PBHL 100 and (PBHL 300 or SOCY 300) with a grade of ‘C’ or better)
  • PRAC 098 taken concurrently with PBHL 470: Public Health Internship (Pre-Req: PBHL 100, 90+ Credits, 2.5 or higher GPA, and PBHL 300)

Track I: Health Services Administration (12 Credits):

  • ECON 121: Principles of Accounting I
  • MGMT 210: The Practice of Management
  • PBHL 497: Health Planning and Administration (Fall only, Pre-Req: PBHL 100 & MGMT 210)
  • PBHL 498: Financial Management and Decision Support for Health Service Organizations (Spring Only, Pre-Req: PBHL 100 or EHS 200 or AGNG 200 AND Econ 121)

Track II: Health Policy (12 Credits): 

  • ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics
  • POLI 250: Introduction to Public Administration (Fall only, Recommended sophomore or  POLI 100)
  • POLI 353: Government Budgeting and Financial Management (Spring only, WI, Recommended junior or POLI 250)
  • PBHL 411: Health Care Regulation (Pre-Req: PBHL 100 & ENGL 393 or PBHL 340)

Track III: Population Health (12 Credits): 

  • PBHL 280: Global Health and Diseases (Pre-Req: PBHL 100)
  • PBHL/SOCY 354: Social Bases of Community and Public Health (Pre-Req: PBHL 100 or SOCY 101 or ANTH 211)
  • PBHL 411: Health Care Regulation (Pre-Req: PBHL 100 & ENGL 393 OR PBHL 340).
  • PBHL 420: Epidemiology (Pre-Req: PBHL 412 or PBHL 300 or SOCY 300 AND SOCY 301)

Electives (9 credits, 6 credits must be level 300 or greater): 

  • Any PBHL upper level courses not used for track requirements may be taken as an elective. Please refer to the UMBC catalog for our full list of electives!

UMBC Graduation Requirements

  • ENGL 100
  • Writing Intensive (WI) course*
  • Math GEP*
  • 2 additional Social Science GEP courses*
  • 3 Arts and Humanities GEP courses*
  • 2 Culture Courses*
  • 1 Science with Lab GEP course
  • 1 Science without Lab GEP course
  • Language GEP requirement
  • Minimum 45 credits at the 300 and/or 400 level*
  • Minimum 120 credits total*

*Requirements may be fully or partially completed with Public Health required and/or elective courses

Public Health Student Spotlights


Minimum GPA Requirement
  • Students who want to change their major to Public Health must meet with an advisor for a signature and have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA.
  • Public Health majors are required to maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA from time of declaration to graduation.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5+ is required to enroll in PBHL 300 and PBHL 470.
  • All coursework towards the Public Health major must be passed with a C or better.
GPA Notification

If you received a myUMBC notification that your GPA has fallen below the 2.5 cumulative GPA required for Public Health see important instructions below:

If this is your first notification, you need to raise your cumulative GPA above 2.5 next semester in order to remain in Public Health. Refer to the tips below for strategies for improving your GPA. If you would like to speak with your advisor, please schedule an appointment

Tips for improving your academic success next semester:

  • Reduce your course schedule to 12 credits.
  • Only repeat one course from a poor grade. Be realistic on your ability to be successful in the course repeat. Be sure you have the time and the academic support and consult with your advisor on how a course repeat will impact your GPA.
  • Be sure your courses are a mix of topics and not all science or writing.
  • Speak with your instructors if you are having difficulties.
  • Go to the Learning Resources Center for assistance.

If this is your second consecutive notification, you are no longer permitted to remain a Public Health major and must speak with someone regarding other major options. Please make an appointment with the Office of Academic & Pre-Professional Advising or the Career Center.

Academic Misconduct

Any student who has been dismissed in any way from the institution due to academic misconduct is not permitted to continue in the Public Health program. Readmission petitions will not be considered.


Completion of the Public Health program requires careful coordination of track selection with internship placement. Additionally, differences in future career plans for graduate education or immediate post-baccalaureate employment are important influences on his or her overall academic program and course selections. With these considerations in mind, early and continuous contact should be established with a program advisor. For more information on advising, please refer to our Undergraduate “Advising” tab.

Program Level Learning Objectives

The Public Health program aligns program level learning objectives with Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) learning outcomes for undergraduate programs.

  1. Public Health Communication: Communicate public health information, in both oral and written forms and through a variety of media, to diverse audiences. (CEPH 1)
  2. Public Health Information Literacy: Locate, use, evaluate, and synthesize public health information. (CEPH 2)
  3. Scientific Reasoning in Public Health: Understand and use scientific methods of inquiry, models, and theories to investigate public health problems.
  4. Critical Analysis in Public Health: Identify, formulate, articulate, and evaluate questions in public health using evidence, data, and various points of view.
  5. Public Health Technological Competency: Use a variety of technology assisted means to understand, create, and present public health information following discipline specific needs and best practices.

Public Health Minor

Public Health majors are not able to declare the Public Health minor.

Core Curriculum

  • PBHL 100: Introduction to Public Health (3 credits)
  • 5 additional PBHL courses (15 credits), 1 course (3 credits) can be any SOCY or ANTH course

Public Health Minor Checklist